This is my monthly rundown on what’s been happening in the world of Sorare.
After a couple of exciting months on the platform, things slowed down a bit in November and perhaps even stuttered a bit, although this didn’t seem to dampen the user growth.
New Challenger clubs and leagues added
The new club launches continued at pace. We had another new league onboarded, with the addition of the remaining ten clubs from the Russian Premier League, just before they pause for the winter break. Although the players from the big clubs were already on there, this gives some real potential to scout for hidden gems over the winter, depending on the frequency that Sorare set the auctions at.
Also, not quite a new league but pretty damn close, Sorare added more Turkish teams and now cover 18 of the 20 Süper Lig clubs. Potentially some decent picks in here too, with the new clubs including the league leaders Trabzonspor.
Continuing their spread across Europe, Sorare dipped their toes into the Danish Superliga and added Aalborg BK, who are currently sitting in 4th place. Nothing to get too excited about here, especially as they are also about to go on a winter break before resuming in February for the final five fixtures of the season.
With all of these additions, the number of teams competing in Challenger Europe feels like it’s getting to almost unmanageable levels. Surely we can’t be too far away from a split? It’s certainly getting super competitive.
Other additions – Strasbourg, Stade De Reims, América FC and… Monza?
A few other teams were added during the month – Strasbourg and Stade De Reims from Ligue 1, América FC from Brazil and, completely out of the blue, AC Monza from Serie B in Italy.
This particular club launch was a bit of a weird one. Serie B isn’t covered for SO5 scoring and Monza are only sitting in mid-table position at the moment so the launch of the club (owned by disgraced Italian ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi) was unexpected. I don’t think Sorare have launched completely unplayable cards before (with the exception of the Legends, which I’ll come onto in a minute) so this was a surprise to the community, particularly as it came without any explanation.
After getting a bit of grief on Twitter, Sorare deleted the launch tweet and proceeded to explain on Discord that there are a few other uncovered teams in the pipeline that ‘have their own football history that is worth celebrating’.
It really was a weird launch and definitely felt like a misstep from a comms perspective. Personally, I’ve no issue with them launching cards with no current utility – no one is pressured to buy them and they could be useful for scouting – but to not give some warning or context to this was perhaps a mistake and the resulting fall out could have probably been avoided.
Legends languishing in the dark
Sticking with the topic of missteps, despite a fantastic initial launch, the continued roll-out of the Legends cards seems to be in a bit of a mess. With other things taking priority, we’re yet to see the Legends Special Weekly that was promised to launch in November and the most recent Sorare newsletter was only able to promise an ‘announcement’ in the coming weeks, presumably pushing things well into 2022.
I didn’t buy any Legends cards. The vague promises around utility and the fact that they almost immediately ripped up their release schedule after launch put me off (cards were initially meant to drop every day, then it changed to once a week and now I’m not even sure there’s a schedule).
Unlike the AC Monza cards, managers have bought Legends cards based on clear expectations of utility, which Sorare are yet to deliver, so I’m not surprised they feel pretty aggrieved at this point. I hope they can put it right quickly.
Everything else still a work in progress
There isn’t much else to report in terms of the big issues like the prize pools, the promised ‘progress bar’ and other game updates. There’s a definite vibe of the Sorare team having their head down, working on stuff, and that we just need to be patient with them for a bit. They also seem to have scrapped their quarterly AMA schedule, promising that the next one will be in a different format and they’ll wait until they have more detailed product announcements to make.
Other platforms up their game
If November was a quieter month for Sorare, it was anything but for SorareData. They launched the first iteration of the SorareData app and if you’ve not downloaded it already, go do it now – it will revolutionise your matchday.
Some people have used the quick and efficient launch of the app as a stick to beat Sorare with, saying that there’s no excuse for Sorare not to have an app yet when SorareData have got one out so quickly. I don’t think the two are comparable at all but it does leave me questioning how essential it is to launch a Sorare app at this point. I’m not sure it’s an urgent priority.
SorareMega have also been busy, launching a shop where you can buy items to give a score modifier to your players. This is a neat little addition, although I haven’t had a chance to experiment with it yet – partly because I barely find enough time to set my teams on Sorare, let alone remember to set my teams elsewhere!
Another new addition is the Sorare Influencers League on SorareBrag. This tournament pits eight European ‘influencers’ against each other, with their fans helping to choose their teams and being in with a chance of winning rewards along the way. Side games like this are a lovely touch and it’s encouraging to see the ecosystem continuing to grow, which also really shows the potential of the decentralised nature of Sorare.
Sales volume and manager numbers
Platform growth continued in November, although slowed a little on the previous month. As of 30th November, there are over 64,000 managers with at least one blockchain card and over 40,000 with five cards. That compares to 53,000 and 32,000 respectively at the end of October and means that the number of users has effectively doubled since the middle of September – and tripled since the end of July. Staggering growth.
Auction sales volume dipped a little compared to the previous couple of months at around 3,200 ETH (approx £11.2 million). A new ‘whale’ entered the game, called ‘Abotlebor’, and spent an absolute fortune including picking up the Unique Jurriën Timber for 28.5 ETH (around £100,00!).
Whoever ‘Abotlebor’ is, they’re certainly splashing the cash. They joined on 16th November and they already have a gallery valued at 273 ETH, which is pretty close to £1 million. I wonder whose referral link they used?!
My performance over the month
My gallery isn’t anywhere near Abotlebor levels but I still feel I should be performing better than I am. Having said that, this month hasn’t been a total bust, although I still can’t seem to get out of the tier 3 level of rewards.
My prize cards this week were:
I’ll be honest, there is no one I’m particularly excited about in this bunch but that’s still a total value of around 0.215 ETH as it stands so I’m not complaining.
Add in the 0.080 ETH won on the thresholds and that’s around £1,000 in winnings for the month. So not too shabby, even though I feel I’m not really hitting the levels I should be.
It’s been a tough month for my squad. Lots of injuries (particularly in defence) and I’ve struggled to get as many starting teams out as I would normally. I’m sticking to my plan of not spending any money at the moment though so my squad changes have been fairly minimal, and I’ve just tried to make the best of what I have.
I took profit on a prize from a previous month – Matúš Bero (0.050 ETH) – and added a few Mexican players to my squad to take advantage of their prices dipping ahead of their short winter break.
They might not be much use to me now but the league returns in January so I’m hoping they’ll keep me in the Champion America chase while my MLS players are having a well-earned rest.
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